I prefer radiology CME with Constant Multimedia Entertainment - engaging all senses, up close and personal, allowing me to get input and advice from the gurus.
I recently attended a conference to acquire my obligatory (MQSA) 15 CME mammo hours. Of course there are DVD options, in-house conferences, periodical preferences or any number of other choices but I wanted to take a break, relax with my wife and enjoy a nice destination. So we went, culminating in a fabulous educational experience. And by the way, I had a really fun time as well.
But the whole experience got me to thinking.
I’ve always thought that organized radiology - whatever that is - had greater vision than many specialties when it comes to CME. When visiting with my clinical colleagues over the years, I’ve repeatedly basked in their envious glow when I describe the speakers, topics and particularly the venues available to us as we seek opportunities to reach our CME goals.
On the other hand, it does seem that we, perhaps more so than other specialties, seem to have increasingly numerous and complex CME hoops to jump through. As we encounter proliferating accreditation requirements hitting all around us, we have to “choose wisely.”
Since we all want to get the biggest bang for our CME buck, I prefer choices with value added Constant Multimedia Entertainment appealing to all five senses. That means being on location, up close and personal with the speakers, allowing me to go back to my colleagues and proffer personal auditory input and advice from the gurus.
Multiple screens with power point presentations, sequential images collapsing (or expanding) on each other and video clips depicting various teaching points leave me marveling. How come I can never get it quite like that? I feverishly take notes so that when I return home I can attempt to visually reproduce what I’ve seen.
Then there are the continental breakfasts, the breaks and discussions with the vendors. We literally wake up and smell the coffee while crunching warm moist croissants. It’s just about the only time I eat such delicacies, but for some reason they taste and smell so much better at a conference. But equal time for fruit, especially sweet, savory fresh cut pineapple or “fruit candy” as we taught our children.
Then we migrate to the neatly arranged display tables and scan the latest tomes. We’re drawn to one in particular and begin to thumb through it. So crisp and clean to touch. Something about the smell of a new volume that has seldom, if ever, been opened. So much knowledge packed into such a small space, just waiting to be liberated, like osmosis flowing through our arms straight to our brains. Why wouldn’t we want to buy all the volumes and spend $500, $600 or more? Better than the old edition and perhaps more comfortable than searching online by clicking a mouse, though this concept may be lost on our younger colleagues. Possessing it will make us a better radiologist. Or so we say.
Reflecting on past CME experiences, I must conclude that what we as radiologists do to maintain our education for the benefit of our patients is exemplary and worth every ounce of effort, difficult as it may be. After all, someone has to do it. We further enhance our CME efforts when we engage all of our senses.
After all, life is too short to drink cheap wine.